Floor markings and signs are excellent tools to communicate safety and hazard warnings, aid in navigation, and provide visual cues for organization in industrial workplaces. For visuals to be effective, they should be lasting and durable, and these factors are often dependent on the material you choose. Vinyl, rubber, mesh, and Superior Mark® floor signs are all high-performing options, but each is designed to excel in different situations. Before updating safety signage in your facility, use this guide to choose the best substrate for each application.

Removable Vinyl Floor Signs for Moderate Traffic

Vinyl floor markings don’t require any downtime to install, and the peel-and-stick application process is easy to do on your own—no professional installation team required. These signs have an acrylic adhesive which bonds best to smooth, sealed floors, yet can be peeled off for quick, residue-free removal. 

When to Use Vinyl Floor Markings

The easy installation and removable process offered by vinyl floor signs makes them popular solutions for moderately traveled areas as well as temporary applications. Even though these are not permanent, they are still designed to fulfill long-term signage needs. They are less durable against constant industrial traffic than more permanent sign options, but are ideal options to improve safety and productivity in these categories: 

  • Foot Traffic Control (Directional Arrows, Pedestrian Traffic Only, Watch Your Step)
  • Equipment Storage Labels (Carts, Cleaning Materials, Garbage Can, Step Stool)
  • Break Rooms and Hallway Alerts (Wash Your Hands, Safety First Reminders, No Smoking, Severe Weather Shelter)
  • Production Office Notices (Authorized Personnel, No Entry, Queue Line)
  • Areas Subject to Change (Navigation Cues, PPE Requirements, Storage Information)

Each sign is printed with high-resolution graphics so the images and text are clear, even from a distance. A protective over-laminate layer prevents scraping or dragging damage, and bevel guards can add another layer of edge protection to extend the life of your signage.

Non-Permanent, Medium-Duty Rubber Floor Signs

For removable signage on irregular surfaces, rubber floor signs offer performance. The peel-and-stick butyl adhesive bonds to pitted or uneven floors to ensure safety messaging lasts, yet these signs can be removed if your traffic flow or equipment storage change, or if your commercial lease ends.

The installation process for rubber floor markings doesn’t require curing time, so you can add or update signage and have your facility up and running immediately. This makes it easy to implement safety improvements that go beyond OSHA requirements or initiate signage for 5S or Lean Methodologies without causing downtime or a drop in productivity. 

How To Improve Productivity & Safety With Rubber Floor Signs

Rubber floor signs are reliable solutions for facility managers to use to quickly implement improvements for standardization to streamline the workflow and improve safety. When initiating 5S, Lean, or other quality disciplines, floor markings can provide valuable reminders to sustain the initiatives, and choosing rubber signs provides the durability and longevity for these moderately traveled locations.

  • Mark floors with signs to designate staging, including Outgoing, Incoming, or Finished Goods to streamline workflow and reduce confusion.
  • Use Trash Can, Pallet Jack Parking, Rags, and other equipment-specific signage to organize and maintain storage locations.
  • Create custom floor markings with clean-up steps and shutdown reminders to reinforce end-of-day procedures and maintain clean, organized work stations.
  • Note limited access to high security or restricted areas with floor markings communicating traffic or entry permissions.
  • Make it easy to spot First Aid Kits, Fire Extinguishers, or other health and safety equipment during emergencies by implementing floor signs with directional cues.

Butyl adhesive isn’t permanent, but it is designed to bond with surfaces long-term, so hazards, safety reminders, and organizational cues last longer than vinyl floor signs. For a facility with medium-duty traffic, rubber signs can withstand forklift wheels, carts, and equipment without breaking down. A clear top coat and a high-gloss finish protect printing from fading and damage to strengthen visual cues in high-use areas without needing frequent replacements. Select rubber for available standard floor signs, or create your own using our custom design tool. Choose a bevel guard to protect the edges from dragging pallets or scraping equipment and forklifts to prolong the life of your markings. 

Replaceable Superior Mark® Floor Signs

For areas with moderate or heavy industrial use and locations where signage may be subject to unique conditions and damaging traffic, Superior Mark® floor signs are a versatile solution. The pressure sensitive, recessed adhesive forms a complete bond with the surface, yet the seal can be broken for complete, residue-free removal.

These floor signs are assembled from printed, pre-cut strips of Superior Mark® material and are installed easily, with zero drying or curing time. Using strips allows individual sections to be removed and replaced if damaged, rather than the entire sign.

Where To Use Superior Mark® Floor Signs

Any heavily traveled location that is subject to wear and tear is a good prospect for Superior Mark® signs. Not only is it more cost-effective to replace sections versus a full sign, but the repair process is easy, allowing the area to be opened to traffic quickly. Superior Mark Floor Signs excel in these areas:

  • Traffic Control Signs (i.e. Stop, Yield, Pedestrian Crossing, Speed Limits)
  • Navigational Arrows for Exits, Aisle Navigation
  • Vehicle Warnings (i.e. Watch for Forklifts, Tugger Traffic, MIR Crossings)
  • Safety Markings for Uneven Lanes & Trip Hazards

Though they aren’t permanent, these signs use Superior Mark® technology to stay put as long as you need them. Each thick PVC strip has beveled edges and its own adhesive to stick firmly in place and prevent wear and tear and peeling up, even in highly trafficked areas. The smooth glossy finish helps to resist dust and since the graphics and messages are printed inside the tape, you can count on lasting readability. Contact a Floor Marking Specialist to custom-order signs in this versatile format.

Permanent Inlaid Mesh Signs

Facilities with heavy-duty industrial traffic need floor markings that can withstand the demands of the area, and inlaid mesh signs are excellent, long-term solutions. The durable fabric is installed using a permanent liquid adhesive that bonds to any irregular, uneven, or pitted surface.

Inlaid mesh signs are applied in a three-step process that is more complex than removable markings, but can still be completed easily in-house. These do require 24-hour curing time after installation, so temporary workflow rerouting or downtime is necessary, but the messaging will last without regular touch-ups, especially compared to paint.

This permanent floor sign option is designed to be sealed to the floor using an epoxy coating top layer, which protects the surface from damage, allowing frequent forklift, machine, and vehicle traffic to pass over without worry.

Considerations for Choosing Inlaid Signage

These signs are sealed to the floor with an epoxy coating that, once cured, is not easily modified. Removing inlaid mesh may require chiseling the area, sanding or grinding the surface, and stripping the adhesive using a harsh chemical, all of which can damage the floor. Before installing an inlaid sign, confirm that the hazards or directional cues are long-term directives as this installation is designed to provide unchangeable, lasting results—you may choose to implement temporary vinyl signage first to test.

Where To Use Permanent Floor Markings

Choose inlaid mesh markings for locations where safety, navigation, or organizational needs are constant. Electrical, plumbing, and building notices are good candidates for permanent signage because these areas aren’t likely to change. Examples of inlaid mesh categories include: 

  • Electrical Panel Markers
  • Safety Shower & Eyewash Stations
  • Floor Drain Markers
  • Trip Hazards, Steps, and Ramps
  • Clearance Width/Height Signs
  • Exits for Emergencies and General Egress
  • Private Property/Security Signs

Find permanent signs in many standard designs or create a custom sign to suit your facility’s specific needs.

How to Choose the Right Floor Sign Material

To determine which material is the right for each application, you’ll need to narrow your selection with the sign location and permanence in mind. The level of heavy, medium, or light traffic the sign needs to withstand, whether the surface is smooth, pitted, or uneven, and if you desire a temporary, removable, or permanent installation are factors to consider carefully. Use this grid to compare vinyl, rubber, mesh, and Superior Mark® materials to find the right fit for your facility:

Vinyl Rubber Mesh Superior Mark®
Heavy Traffic
Medium Traffic
Moderate / Low Traffic
Smooth Surface
Pitted Surface
Uneven / Cracked Surface
Easy Installation
Curing Time Required
No Curing / Drying

Now that you understand the differences between vinyl, rubber, mesh, and Superior Mark® floor signs, find the designs you need to properly mark your facility. Find more ideas for improving your efficiency, productivity, and safety in our Resource Center.